How to Use iPhone Low Power Mode for Longer Battery Life

Use this setting to instantly start saving battery life on your iPhone

Full and drained battery illustrations

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Squeezing the longest use out of your iPhone battery is crucial. There are dozens of tips and tricks to help you, but if your battery is very low or you won't be able to charge for a while, conserve battery life by turning on Low Power Mode. Low Power Mode disables certain features and settings on your phone to help make the battery last longer.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 9 and up. If you've got an Apple Watch, check out How to Use Power Reserve on Apple Watch.

What Does Low Power Mode Do?

When you enable Low Power Mode, the battery icon turns yellow to indicate that the phone is trying to make the battery last longer. While this is great, there are trade-offs.

These are some things that happen when Low Power Mode is turned on:

  • Reduces Power: The speed of the iPhone processor influences how much battery it uses. Low Power Mode reduces the performance of the processor and the graphics chip to conserve battery. This means the phone will be slower and may not perform as well in games and other graphics-intensive tasks.
  • Disables Background App Refreshing: The iPhone learns how you use apps and automatically updates them around the times you usually use them to ensure that the latest data is waiting for you. It's a cool feature, but it also requires battery life. Low Power Mode temporarily suspends this feature.
  • Auto-Lock Happens Faster: Regardless of the auto-lock setting the phone is configured to use normally, it will be reduced to 30 seconds during Low Power Mode since more screen time uses more battery.
  • Turns Off Email Fetching: The iPhone can be set up to periodically check for new messages from your email accounts. Low Power Mode turns this feature off. You'll need to manually check for new messages (open Mail and swipe down from the top to refresh). 
  • Disables Automatic Downloads: Low Power Mode prevents automatic iTunes downloads and automatic app updates from using the battery.
  • Suspends Visual Effects and Animations: iOS is packed with visual effects and animations that make using your phone more fun, but they also use battery. Low Power Mode turns these things off to conserve power.
  • Disables "Hey Siri" Functionality: The phone uses extra power while listening for this phrase that activates your personal assistant. Having Low Power Mode on prevents Siri from listening for commands.
  • Pauses iCloud Photo Backups: Backing up your photos to iCloud uses significant power, so cloud backups temporarily pause while in Low Power Mode.

The amount of extra battery life Low Power Mode delivers depends on how you use the iPhone. According to Apple, the average person can expect to get up to an extra few hours of power.

Some estimates have found that Low Power Mode can reduce battery use by 33% to 47% in some cases.

Can You Use Low Power Mode All the Time?

Low Power Mode can give the iPhone multiple hours of additional battery life, and you may be tempted to use it all the time. However, having Low Power Mode on all the time reduces power, disables apps and features, and suspends effects and email retrieval. If you don't care if these features are turned off, there isn't any harm in keeping Low Power Mode on perpetually.

Low Power Mode turns off automatically (that is, battery conservation will stop) when the charge exceeds 80%.

How to Turn on iPhone Low Power Mode

There are several ways to enable Low Power Mode on your iPhone. The easiest method is to tell Siri to Turn on low power mode. The option for Low Power Mode is also found in Settings > Battery, as well as in the Control Center (see the steps below).

Three ways to enable Low Power Mode on iPhone

Another way to enable Low Power Mode on iPhone is when your battery is really low. You'll see a pop-up window asking about Low Power Mode when the battery drops to 20%, and again at 10%.

You can repeat some of these actions to turn Low Power Mode off. For example, tell Siri Turn off low power mode, or toggle it off in the Settings or Control Center.

How to Use Low Power Mode From Control Center

On iOS 11 and up, you can customize the options that are available in Control Center. One of the changes you can make is to add a Low Power Mode icon for easy access.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Go to Control Center > Customize Controls.

  3. Tap the green ​+ icon next to Low Power Mode to move it to the upper section of icons, which are the controls that currently appear in Control Center.

    Customize Controls, Low Power Mode buttons in iOS Settings
  4. Open Control Center by pulling down from the top of the screen or up from the bottom (depending on the iPhone model), then tap the battery icon to toggle Low Power Mode on or off.

Did you know there's an equivalent of Low Power Mode for data? Learn about it and other secret features in The 13 Best Hidden Features of iOS 13.